“Going up the stairs in Cannes is like stepping out of your own body”

L’Oréal Paris Ambassador, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau is the central player in Game Of Thrones. MS

L’Oréal Paris Ambassador, of which he has been one of the spokespersons for several years, the actor of Game Of Thrones gave himself up to a few confidences on Tuesday afternoon in a suite at the Hotel Martinez. Curious, relaxed, the Danish actor talks about his commitment and looks back on his memories of Cannes.

In the suite of the Martinez Hotel, this Tuesday afternoon, it is not the disturbing “Régicide” of Game Of Thrones whom we meet, but a charming and laid-back Nikolaj Coster-Waldau in his blue summer suit. Curious and talkative, the Danish actor does not even hesitate to return our own questions. The man who is also an ambassador for L’Oréal Paris, of which he has been one of the spokespersons for several years, confides, and speaks in particular about his commitment and his memories of Cannes.

The central actor of the Iron Throne saga cut his teeth in the theater, and made himself known to Danish audiences in 1994 in the thriller The Night Watchman. The director Ridley Scott subsequently detected a strong potential in him and chose him in 2001 to play in the war film The fall of the Black Falconthen for the epic The Kingdom of Heaven. But it’s really in 2010, in the skin of Jaime Lannister, the twin brother of Cersei in Game Of Thrones that his career explodes.

The eight-season series propelled Nikolaj Coster-Waldau to the rank of world star. He then chained feature films, between blockbusters (oblivion in 2013 alongside Tom Cruise, Gods of Egypt)and comedies (Triple Alliance in 2014). In 2022, he takes the place of co-screenwriter in the Icelandic-Danish film broadcast on Netflix Lost in the arctic, in which he also plays the main role. At 51, he is an accomplished actor who does not hesitate to speak freely.

Madame Figaro.- What is the reason for your coming to Cannes?
Nikolaj Coster-Waldau.- This year, L’Oréal Paris celebrates 25 years of partnership with the Cannes Film Festival. On the occasion of this anniversary, the beauty brand invited its spokespersons, including myself. I’ve been working with them for a few years, so here I am!

On video, the interview with Nikolaj Coster-Waldau

What does the Lights on Women Award mean to you? How can he move things forward?
This is the second season that L’Oréal has awarded this prize, which rewards a director of short films with promising talent. I think it’s a very good idea. Even today, there are many more male directors than female directors. In recent years we have seen more and more women directing films. Not only small productions but also important films. This increases the diversity and above all the difference of point of view; but there is still a very long way to go. This award is a great way to highlight new female talent. There are so many excellent female directors, we want to have the chance to know more. And if they already exist, we don’t see them enough! In the future, the question of gender equality will no longer be a subject, but as long as it is still a concern, then we must continue. It’s a huge issue in cinema, but it goes beyond borders, it’s a global problem.

What are your upcoming projects ?
It’s funny that we talk about female directors, since I’m currently shooting the mini-series for Apple The Last Thing He Told Me, by Laura Dave and Josh Singer. It’s produced by Hello Sunshine, the company founded by Reese Witherspoon that wants to change the way women are portrayed in the media. The series may be released next year but I don’t know the exact date yet! Either way, it was a great experience.

What are your tips for being comfortable on the red carpet?
Climbing the stairs at the Cannes Film Festival is a bizarre experience, like stepping out of your own body. But if I had one brief to give, it would be to be natural. Just be yourself!

For me the best place would be to be on stage when they announce the winner

What is your best memory in Cannes?
Twenty years ago, I was in the harbor, on a boat, and a speedboat came along, a red speedboat. At the front of the boat, standing in swimming trunks, Jean-Claude Van Damme was doing martial arts figures while shouting things. I will never forget it, it was a very beautiful moment!

What’s the best night?
I remember, years ago, an evening in honor of the film, The Blues Brothers, where the real Blues Brothers played. It was twenty-five years ago, it was very funny.

Most embarrassing moment?
Last year, when Spike Lee announced the winner, at the beginning of the ceremony thus spoiling all the suspense, it was quite annoying, and funny of course. But also unfortunate.

What is the best place?
For me it would be to be on stage when they announce the winner.

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